Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Update on the NC Component of the East Coast Broccoli Project
This morning there was a nice piece on NPR's Morning Edition about the Virginia component of the East Coast Broccoli Project. You can listen to it here: Eastern U.S. Farmers Hope to Break into Broccoli Biz. (The North Carolina component got it's NPR exposure in December Growing a Broccoli Economy.) So this morning I've been getting phone calls, emails, and tweets about how our western N.C. component of the project was going. So here is a quick, mostly pictorial, update.
We grew a lot of pretty broccoli. This is our first planting that we planned for a mid-July harvest.
This photo was taken in mid-July and shows us evaluating color on a variety from the first planting.
Heads are measured in a variety of ways to find the perfect broccoli for today's consumers.
Samples are prepared for shipping to the University of Tennessee for nutritional analysis.
This is what our second planting looked like on August 3.
This planting is having a few production issues, such as this girdling/rot.
And we don't know if it is turkeys or crows that have taken to pecking on our white plastic mulch!
All in all, we think it is going real well. There is good grower interest, too.
There will be a broccoli field day in the High Country next week. You are all welcome to come out and visit a grower's field and here about our project, too. Here is the information: High Country Broccoli Field Day on August 15.
This project is led by Thomas Bjorkman of Cornell University and is funded by a Specialty Crops Research and Extension Initiative grant from the USDA. Broccoli Project webpage